Fifty people received $100 to help pay for skyrocketing GRU bills

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Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County residents along with community leaders hosted an interactive teach-in to educate people about their GRU bills.

“Not only are people’s utility bills rising by two or three times. People’s rent is rising, the gas prices people we are really struggling and not just in this city but in this country,” said organizer Gail Johnson.

Some said their meters aren’t being read and their payments are higher than their mortgage. Celeste Bing said she had to get another job to help pay for her bills.

“I took a second job working at IHOP from 11 o’clock at night to six in the morning. I go home and sleep for two hours and get in my dog grooming trailer and go groom dogs all day because GRU is $549.”

Many people like Adam Leme explained that GRU isn’t the problem it’s the Gainesville city commission that keeps raising the rates.

“Everybody is suffering under these rates the city commission needs to do something because badgering GRU isn’t the only thing we need to do. Being angry we need to catalyze that anger into votes and also into class consciousness.”

GRU representatives spoke with residents about their bills and 50 people received $100 to help pay utilities.

“Somebody who is in their 50s, 60s, 70s shouldn’t be picking up another job just to afford a light bill. Whatever happened to the American dream where we feel the freedom to go and pursue our dreams,” said Leme.

A question was asked about what would you do if GRU wasn’t an issue? People wrote down they would buy food, clothes and give money to their mom.

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